Archives For congress

The Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, has announced its seventh annual Lump of Coal Award for the worst tax and fiscal policies of 2013. The year was a curious mix of really bad ideas and dithering. After all, Congress’s finest moment may have been its December budget mini-deal—a decision that effectively ignored every one of the great fiscal questions facing the nation. The winners of the 2013 Lump of Coal Award are: Continue Reading…

IRS_TaxDevice_WEB

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has issued a report in which it summarizes many of the medical device excise tax rules and sheds some light on which devices are subject to that tax. Continue Reading…

PLANNING FOR BUSINESSES [Part 6/7]

15-Year Recovery For Leasehold/Retail Improvements, Restaurant Property

ATRA extended through 2013 the 15-year recovery period for qualified leasehold improvements, qualified retail improvements and qualified restaurant property. To qualify for this accelerated recovery period, the qualifying property must be placed in service before January 1, 2014. Continue Reading…

PLANNING FOR BUSINESSES [Part 5/7]

Businesses seeking to maximize tax benefits through 2013 year-end tax planning may want to consider two general strategies:

  1. Use of traditional timing techniques for income and deductions; and
  2. Special consideration of significant tax incentives (known as tax extenders) scheduled to expire at the end of 2013. Continue Reading…

You probably circle April 15, the yearly filing day, to remember about taxes. It’s funny though because most people probably do not circle today, October 4: the actual birthday for the federal income tax. Today also happens to be its 100th birthday!

Continue Reading...

“The IRS sucks; Obama’s handling of the IRS sucks; Congress sucks (but not because they’re sucking on tax reform); wealth should be re-distributed, but it can’t be through a tax policy that re-distributes the wealth; I’m definitely paying too much in taxes, but I think my tax rate is fair.. did I just contradict myself?; oh well, I actually don’t care that much; you see, I don’t know much about taxes, but I definitely don’t like them!”

If you’re confused, you should be. If you think this is a joke, it’s not (not really, at least). Let’s break America’s sentiment down, phrase by phrase:

Continue Reading...

A recent report to Congress revealed that effective tax rates (ETRs) for large corporations were lower than the statutory rates– a lot lower.

Continue Reading...
Lerner

Lois Lerner confers with her attorney during a U.S. House committee hearing in May. (Photo credit: washingtonpost.com; photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg)

A top IRS official, who invoked her fifth amendment rights during a congressional hearing about the U.S. tax agency’s targeting of tea party groups, may be forced to re-appear before Congress.

Next time, Lois Lerner, former head of the IRS’ tax-exempt groups division, risks being held in contempt of Congress should she choose to refuse cross-examination.

On Friday, a U.S. House committee concluded that Lerner waived her right to remain silent when she read a statement saying that she had done “nothing wrong,” and that on the advice of her council she would not answer any of the committee’s questions.  “One of the basic functions of the Fifth Amendment is to protect Innocent Individuals, and that is the protection I am invoking today,” Lerner said.

Scroll to the bottom of this page to watch her full statement.

Republicans were not pleased with that decision.  “That is the not the way the Fifth Amendment works. You don’t get to tell your side of the story,” and then avoid cross-examination, said Rep. Trey Gowdy (R—S.C.). “She sat there and could have said nothing.”

On a party-line vote, the Republican-led Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved that Lerner did in fact waive her right to protection from self-incrimination by making a statement but refusing to answer questions. Continue Reading…

As discussed in our last Joy of Tax Law article, Apple has sheltered $44 billion in offshore tax havens. Like Apple, many other U.S.-based multinational companies are able to protect many of their billion dollar profits abroad through a U.S. Treasury tax loophole called the “check the box” rule.

Continue Reading...

For those who think taxes are unconstitutional thievery, this may come off as good news.

But for everyone else, the IRS’ announcement of five agency-wide shutdown days (furloughs) just means longer waits and more hassle.

Continue Reading...